Inspiring, insightful, gritty: Steve Coates wins FEA’s Outstanding Contribution Award

Plus Apprentice of the Year and Chair Award winners announced at FEA industry conference

He’s insightful, inspiring and gritty.  Steve Coates was honoured at the FEA conference with the 2023 Outstanding Contribution to the Catering Equipment Industry Award. 

The award was presented by Paul Anderson, FEA chair, at the conference’s gala dinner on Thursday 16 November, at Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth.  He said Steve had also been described by friends, family and colleagues as astute, strong, direct, supportive, passionate, generous, fun loving, and someone with bold clarity of thinking.  Paul sited Steve’s success in founding the Advance Group, which now has a turnover of £20million+ per year.  He also highlighted his support for young work seekers, his love of his family and his efforts for a variety of charities. 

As a member of the Foodservice Equipment Association’s board, Steve has been a prime mover in several key events, including the restructuring of the association and, a few years later, its rebranding, from CESA to FEA.  His latest project is FEA’s new Foodservice Carbon Professional (FCP) accreditation, which had been launched earlier that day during the conference.  Paul said Steve had been a passionate driving force in pushing FCP through, for which he thanked him enormously. 

Steve, who was joined at the dinner by his wife Felicity and their children Dani and Tom, said, “I’m so proud to accept this prestigious award.  I can honestly say it’s a highlight of my career.” 


Apprentice of the Year

This year the Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by John Gilbert, has been expanded to recognise anyone who has undertaken great learning or professional development.  The 2023 Award, which was presented during the gala dinner by John Gilbert and Simon Frost, was won by Morris Fowler of Falcon Foodservice Equipment.  His application exemplified how training and on the job experience can make a huge contribution, both to the individual’s personal development and to the company itself!  Judges noted how, as well as playing integral roles in NPD, Morris had brought his hobby, modelling, into the workplace, using his skills at 3D printing to protype small parts in order to fast-track development and testing of new products.  Two entrants were Highly Commended in the Apprentice Award, they were Jakob Baumgart and David Ashbridge, both from Aggora. 

Chair’s Award winners

Also during the gala dinner, Paul Anderson announced the winners of the 2023 Chair’s Awards, which recognise individuals and organisations whose distinguished service has enhanced the foodservice equipment industry. They were David Parsons of Winterhalter UK Ltd; Stephen Goodliff of Contacto; Tim Morgan of The Publicity Works; the late Fabio Gargantini, former secretary general of EFCEM (European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers); Dr Samantha Mudie of Reading University; Kate Gould of Caterops; CFESA (the USA’s Commercial Food Equipment Service Association); Chris Playford of Foster Refrigerator; and Steve Witt of Ecofast Environmental UK. 


Are you looking for a particular foodservice equipment product or service?

FEA members operate across all of the product categories below:

  • Beverage
  • Cooking
  • Dealer / Wholesaler
  • Food Waste
  • Light Equipment and Food Preparation
  • Refrigeration
  • Servicing
  • Software
  • UK Fabrication and Manufacturing
  • Ventilation and Fire Suppression
  • Warewashing

You can search all FEA member products and services using our Meet Our Members filter. Simply filter by 'Product Type'.

You might also be interested in:

Social Media

  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  • Like our Facebook business page

    FEA members monthly newsletter

    Sign-up for our free monthly newsletter and you’ll be kept up-to-date on industry news, FEA offers and events. It will keep you informed and you might see something that whets your appetite.